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Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

March 25, 2012

In most cases, a fresh food recipe makeover is really a makeunder, and today’s recipe is the perfect example. I love the simplicity of pasta mixed with fresh vegetables, and the star in this recipe is truly the broccoli. I did away with the creamy broccoli and cheese sauce, and chose to create a tasty sauceless dish instead. It’s honestly a pretty humble recipe, which is great because it allows you to appreciate the flavors of the few fresh ingredients.

Recipe Results

Cons: Not a one!

Pros: I actually shaved 10 minutes off the recipe and it now takes 20 minutes to prep and cook from start to finish. As if that wasn’t enough, I reduced the calories by 39%. saturated fat by 69%, cholesterol by 51%, and sodium by 65%.

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli
Yields: 4 Servings

12 ounces Whole wheat penne
3 links Sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 cup Yellow onion
2 Garlic cloves
2 cups Broccoli (cut into florets)
1 tablespoon Olive oil
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated, divided)

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
2. Remove casings from sausage if necessary. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan and reserve on a paper-towel lined plate. Wipe out skillet.
3. Return skillet to stove and heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and broccoli, cooking until broccoli is tender, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, sausage, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Transfer to plates and serve topped with remaining Parmesan.

Kate’s Thoughts
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. The key is using the pasta water to help bind your ingredients together. The starch that seeped into the water during the cooking process creates the perfect texture when reincorporated into the ingredients.

I chose to use turkey sausage over pork sausage, but it’s a matter of personal preference. I found the dish to have enough heat from the sausage seasoning, but adding a dash of red pepper flakes when you incorporate the broccoli and garlic would turn it up a notch.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:
Yields: 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds Sweet Italian pork sausage (casing removed)
1 medium Onion
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1 10 3/4-ounce can Cream of broccoli soup
1/2 cup Milk
16 ounces Frozen broccoli
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
4 1/2 cups Rotini
Crushed red pepper

1. Cook the sausage in a 6-quart sauce pot over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the sauce pot and cook until they’re tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir the soup, milk, broccoli and 1/4 cup cheese in the sauce pot and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the broccoli is tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve with the red pepper, if desired.

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Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

March 20, 2012

Today’s fresh food recipe deserves a disclaimer: I took the fresh food volume and turned it WAY up.  It may seem that I literally tried to see how many fresh vegetables I could pack into one casserole, but the fact of the matter is that I adore vegetable enchiladas and simply couldn’t resist including a lots of veggies in this chicken version.  When it comes time to make it yourself, please feel free to pick and choose from the rather lengthy list!  But really, how can you resist?

The request for today’s recipe makeover came from one of my most favorite people in the world: my college roommate, one of my best friends, and an incredibly supportive fellow entrepreneur (check out her gorgeous custom invitations and stationery at www.karikileen.com!).  Kari is the kind of person that would literally do anything for you, so giving one of her favorite guilty pleasures recipes a fresh food makeover was really the least I could do in return.  Here’s hoping she still likes me when she sees how many veggies I’ve added…

Additional steps  created for this recipe:

1. Roasting peppers and chiles

2. Creating a veggie filling

Recipe Results

Cons: An added 25-30 minutes of hands on time.

Pros: 24% decrease in total calories, 39% decrease in calories from fat, 38% decrease in total fat and saturated fat, an astounding 68% decrease in sodium (taking it well within the reasonable intake level for dinner), and 38% decrease in cholesterol.  Plus, I know I am biased, but I think the flavor is more robust.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Vegetables
Yields: 8 Servings

1 Red bell pepper
1 Poblano pepper
2 Anaheim chiles
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 cup Yellow onion (halved and thinly sliced)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 cups Zucchini (quartered and chopped)
1 cup Corn
1 1/2 cups Fresh mushrooms (sliced, about 4 ounces)
2 Tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1 1/4 cups Fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Water
31/4 cup Non-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups Cheddar cheese (shredded and divided)
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro (chopped)
Cooking spray
8 6-inch Corn tortillas (torn into pieces)
2 1/4 cups Skinless, boneless chicken breast (chopped, skinned and roasted)

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cut the peppers and chiles in half, removing the seeds and membranes. Place the peppers and chiles skins sides up on a foil-lined baking sheet, flattening with your hand. Broil until blackened, about 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place in a zip-loc bag for 15 minutes. Remove pepper and chiles from bag and peel off skins, then chop and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, zucchini, corn, and mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in flour, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes.
4. Stir in chopped pepper and chiles, broth, and water; simmer 5 minutes or until thick, constantly stirring. Stir in yogurt. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese and cilantro.
5. Preheat oven to 350F.
6. Combine vegetable mixture, tortilla pieces, and cooked chicken in a large bowl.  (Make sure all of the tortilla pieces are coated with the vegetable mixture.) Transfer to 9×13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly.

Kate’s Thoughts

I know it is really hard to compare to the ease of simply pouring bottles/cans of ingredients into a bowl, but I will always argue that a little extra time is well worth it.  This is especially true when you consider the health benefits.  The original dish had 1,390 mg of sodium, well over half of the daily recommended intake, where my revision has 445 mg .  That fact alone should make you put down the jar of salsa.

As I said from the onset, you can adjust the ingredients to fit your tastes and your time constraints.  Trimming the number of included vegetables will help save you chopping time.  To create a truer version of the original recipe, I would include only peppers, chiles, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

If you like heat, I suggest cutting out the red bell pepper and adding another poblano pepper.  Pansy in the heat department like me?  Cut back to one Anaheim chile.

During non-summer months I recommend using frozen corn and canned whole tomatoes.  These ingredients are packed at prime freshness and will taste better than the out of season varieties you may find in the produce section.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Yields: 8 Servings

2  cans Cream of chicken soup
1 16-ounce jar Salsa
1 small jar Diced green chiles
1 pound Skinless, boneless chicken breast (pre-cooked and cut into small pieces)
2 cups Cheddar cheese (shredded)
8 Corn tortillas (torn into pieces)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Cheesy Potato Casserole

March 6, 2012

Today’s fresh recipe makeover was submitted by a dear friend of mine and I could not have been more excited to take on the challenge.  The original recipe was actually a slightly healthier version (if you can imagine) of a classic potato casserole I have made numerous times, so I was especially looking forward to creating a fresher, and potentially healthier, take.  The original casserole has cream of chicken soup and sour cream base, so I knew I would need to create a similar creamy texture without the sodium packed punch of canned soup.  I remembered recipes I had used in the past that involved butternut squash or carrot purees as a creamy base for mac and cheese, and I thought it was worth a shot to try using the vegetables in a similar way for this recipe.  The end result is a creamy textured casserole without the processed soup AND packed with the added nutrients of butternut squash.  Talk about a win/win…

Additional steps created for this recipe

1. Peel, chop, and cook butternut squash.

2. Prepare butternut squash puree.

Recipe Results

Cons: A substantial amount of time is added to the preparation of this recipe compared to the original.  Cooking the squash and preparing the purees results in approximately 45 additional minutes of preparation (this includes hands off cooking time for the squash).  I chose to double the puree recipe while I was at it to make a casserole for my friend, but you could easily do the same and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers for next time.

Pros: 30% reduction in calories, 65% reduction in total fat, 56% reduction in saturated fat, and 12% reduction in sodium.  Plus, the added vitamins and nutrients found in butternut squash.

NEW RECIPE:

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Yields: 8 Servings

3 cups Butternut squash (peeled & cubed, about 1 pound)
1 1/4 cups Organic low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Fat-free milk
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Fat-free Greek yogurt
1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 16-ounce package Frozen hash browns
2 Green onions (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon Olive oil
1/2 cup Whole-wheat bread crumbs

1. Combine butternut squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes, or until squash is fork tender.
2. Preheat oven to 375F.
3. Combine cooked squash mixture, salt, pepper, and yogurt in blender with cap insert removed (to vent steam) and a towel covering the opening (to catch splatters).  Blend until smooth.
4. Transfer pureed squash mixture to medium bowl and add cheese. Add hash browns. Combine until well mixed.
5. Place potato mixture in an even layer in a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with green onions.
6. Heat olive oil over medium in a small saute pan. Add bread crumbs and toss until well coated. Sprinkle evenly over potato mixture.
7. Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Kate’s Thoughts

It took me a couple of tries to get this recipe to where I wanted it, but I must admit I am pleased with the outcome.  The butternut squash puree creates a sweeter flavor than the cream of chicken soup, but it is by no means off-putting.  You will  not take a bite of this casserole and think you are eating the original, you will however think you are eating something incredibly delicious.

I recommend using organic low-sodium chicken broth because it has notably less sodium than even traditional low-sodium varieties.  I also chose to create my own bread crumbs by pulsing a few slices of whole wheat bread in my food processor.  It is a great solution for those end pieces that no one seems to want to eat!  Non-fat plain Greek yogurt also makes the perfect substitute for sour cream.

If you are feeling in the complete home-made spirit, making your own hash browns is also possible.  Peel the potatoes, slice them into 1/2-inch wide pieces, and grate using a hand grater or grating attachment of a food processor.  Be sure this is the last step of your prep, as potatoes will quickly brown if left to oxidize.  You can place them in water to slow down the oxidation process.  You will need to adjust the cooking time to 50-60 minutes to ensure the potatoes are sufficiently cooked.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (AKA Lion House Funeral Potatoes)
Yields: 8 Servings

1 16-ounce package Frozen hash browns
3 tablespoons Margarine
1 can (12 oz) Cream of chicken soup
1 Cup Sour cream
1 Cup Milk
3 tablespoons Green onion (finely chopped)
3/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 tablespoons Margarine (melted)
3/4 Cup Corn Flakes (crumbled)

1. Put hash browns into casserole dish.
2. Combine margarine, soup, sour cream, milk, green onions and cheese. Warm in a sauce pan and spread over potatoes.
3. Combine melted margarine and corn flakes. Sprinkle on top.
4. Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

 

Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Crock Pot Chicken with Salsa

February 28, 2012

The recipe I made over today is what inspired me to focus on fresh food recipes in the first place. It calls for chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, a can of corn, and a block of cream cheese. The recipe kept popping up on Pinterest and I must admit that every time I saw it, all I could think was “That could taste so much better with real ingredients!” I may have had some grumblings about processed food overkill, but I’ll keep those to my self. Plus, the recipe called for frozen chicken breasts. For those of who you who are not familiar with crock-pot rules, this is an absolute disaster waiting to happen! Using frozen meat in crock-pot is basically like inviting salmonella over for dinner. (Not a pleasant dinner guest in most cases.)

There were a few variations of the recipe out there as well. A few called for black beans, a couple others called for pre-mixed taco seasoning. And mine just calls for fresh food deliciousness.

Recipe Results

Cons: Added 7-10 minutes of prep time (making your own spice rub and slicing the peppers and onions), for a total of 15 minutes of prep.

Pros: Reduced calories by 51%, fat by 88%, cholesterol by 52% and sodium by 66%. Pretty amazing.

NEW RECIPE:

Crock Pot Chicken
Yields: 4 Servings

2 teaspoons Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 Bell peppers (seeded and sliced)
1/2 Red onion (sliced, about 1 cup)
1 14.5-ounce can Diced tomatoes (drained, or 2 cups fresh tomatoes seeded and chopped)
1 15-ounce can Reduced-sodium black beans
1/2 Lime (juiced)
Fresh cilantro (chopped, optional garnish)

1. Combine first six ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture over chicken and set aside.
2. Layer sliced bell peppers and onion in bottom of crock pot. Place chicken on top of pepper and onions, then top with diced tomatoes and black beans. Squeeze lime juice across entire mixture.
3. Cook on high in crock pot for 4-5 hours (depending on size of chicken breasts) or until chicken is cooked.

Kate’s Thoughts

I wish I could incorporate some sort of scratch and sniff feature into my bog, because my house smelled amazing all day long. The flavors of the fresh vegetables combined with the smoky, spicy flavors of the rub were mouth-watering.

You could serve this dish a variety of ways. One option is over rice or quinoa. The juicy flavors created from slow-cooking the vegetables lend itself well to being served over a grain. You could also serve it as whole breasts of chicken along side toasted pita wedges or tortilla strips. Or you could shred the chicken to create perfect home-made fajita or burrito filling. The truth is, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options.

For those of you who like to set up your crock-pot at the start of your day or before you head to work, the shorter cooking time is not a problem. Just ensure your crock-pot switches to “warm” after the programmed cooking time. I prepared my chicken early in the day, photographed it just after lunch time, and it was still moist and flavorful by the time dinner rolled around.

I incorporated jalapeno pepper into my test recipe, but found the heat was lost by the time the meal finished cooking in the crock-pot. I want to try this dish again in the summertime with some corn off the cob for added fresh bite. Fresh tomatoes would also be a favorable addition.

I chose to omit cream cheese from my recipe version, because I did not feel it would enhance the natural vegetables. I contemplated adding in a touch of heavy cream at the end to create more of a soup consistency, but did not feel there was enough liquid to make this a suitable option. I would recommend adding 1-2 cups of chicken broth at the onset if you intend on incorporating heavy cream in the last 30 minutes.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese
Yields: 4 Servings

4 Skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 15-ounce can Black beans
1 jar Salsa
1 can Corn (drained)
1 8-ounce package Cream cheese

1. Take 4 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
2. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.
3. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.
4. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

Fresh Food Recipe Makeover: Mexican Meatball Soup

February 21, 2012

It only seemed right that when it came to start my “fresh food” recipe makeovers that I should take a look at recipes I have shared in the past that may have been in need of a transformation.  Those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw processed foods, or something like that.  I started perusing my recipe database and came across the recipe I decided to revamp first.  Ironically enough, I had already blogged about this recipe and had even commented on the fact that I was a little hesitant to share it at the time.  Looks like I was setting myself up!  What better way to start?

This new recipe involves a few extra steps:

1. Baking your own whole-wheat tortilla chips.

2. Creating your own fresh salsa.

I also chose to take the health benefit one step further, by using lean ground turkey and whole wheat tortillas.  In addition, I added chili powder to help amp up the flavor of the ground turkey.

Recipe Results

Cons: Increased total cooking time by 15 minutes.  (See Kate’s Thoughts below.  I think this can honestly be closer to only a 10 minute increase.)

Pros: Decreased calories by 34%, decreased saturated fat by 66%, and decreased sodium by 69% compared to the original.

Revised Mexican Meatball Soup
Yields: 4 Servings

Total Time: 40 minutes

3 6-inch Whole wheat tortillas
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (divided)
1 pound Extra lean ground turkey
2 Green onions (thinly sliced)
6 tablespoons Fresh cilantro (chopped, divided)
1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper (divided)
1 cup Yellow onion (chopped)
1 cup Green bell pepper (seeded and chopped, about 1 small pepper)
1 14.5-ounce can Diced tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 Jalepeno pepper (seeded and finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 tablespoons Fresh lime juice
1 2/3 tablespoons Olive oil (divided)
3 cups Water (divided)
1 Avocado (diced)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut tortillas into bite size strips. Coat with cooking spray and place strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season strips with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake strips until crisp and golden, approximately 10-12 minutes.
2. Heat the broiler. Crush 1 cup of the baked tortilla strips and combine with the turkey, green onions, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 16) and place on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile place the ingredients for the salsa (onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 black pepper, lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil) in a blender with 1 cup water.
4. Transfer contents of the blender to a large pot, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, add meatballs, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through about 4-5 minutes.
5. Serve soup topped with remaining tortilla strips and avocado.

Kate’s Thoughts

After I took the time to chop and prepare the salsa, I realized that I probably could have saved time and simply quartered or sliced most of the ingredients, as they were being pureed in the blender anyway.  Preparing the salsa the long way did allow me to ensure the combination of flavors was spot on, but this wouldn’t be necessary in the future.  This would cut the the prep time down by at least 5-7 minutes.

Not only was the revised recipe a health improvement, I honestly thought the flavor was much more robust.  I was initially apprehensive about creating my own salsa as I didn’t think it would stand up to the mingling time of the flavors in the jarred salsa, but this was not the case.  In fact, I found the texture of the soup to  be heartier and that the freshness of the vegetables came through in each bite.

A few notes on ingredients:

Although I chose to use canned, diced tomatoes since tomatoes are currently not in season, fresh tomatoes would also work very well when the time came.  You will need approximately 1 cup of fresh, chopped tomatoes.

I chose to top the soup with an avocado, as in the original.  If I made this in the summer, I would like to try topping it with mango or peach to add an extra level of sweet freshness.

Lastly, adding olive oil to the lean ground turkey mixture puts back “good fat” and creates a moister meatball.

And here is the original recipe for comparison:

Mexican Meatball Soup
Yields: 4 Servings

1 pound Ground beef
2 Green onions (chopped)
1 cup Tortilla chips (crushed, plus more for serving)
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro (chopped, plus sprigs for serving)
1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
3 cups Mild jarred salsa (about 1 1/2 jars, each 16 ounces)
1 Avocado (cut into pieces)

1. Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine the beef, scallions, tortilla chips, cilantro, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 24) and place on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa with 1 cup water. Transfer to a large saucepan, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Serve the soup with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and tortilla chips, if desired.

Fresh Food: It’s time for recipe makeovers!

February 10, 2012

I like to consider 2012 the year of possibilities.  I am so excited about the foundation I have laid for my business thus far and the direction I found myself going.  I recently remarked that it kind of makes me a bit of cooking dweeb, but I really feel passionately about what I am providing my customers.  I firmly believe that choosing to cook for yourself and for your families makes a tremendous difference in your health, emotional well-being, and bank account!  Sounds so dramatic doesn’t it?  Almost like I think we can change the world, one home-cooked meal at a time.  Not so sure about all that, but I really think you can make your individual world a little bit nicer.

When selecting meals and recipes for my customers, I have always primarily focused on choosing what I refer to as “real food” ingredients.  The majority of my clients’ shopping lists are fresh produce, meat, and natural ingredients; processed foods are avoided whenever possible.  There are times where incorporating one or two processed ingredients may shave a few minutes off your cooking time, but in my humble opinion, it’s just not worth it.  The result are menus and recipes that are fresh, healthy and can still be prepared in a reasonable amount of time.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m a mom myself and test these recipes ahead of time, and usually with a toddler running underneath me trying to “help”.

So why am I telling you all this?  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was looking for some direction with regard to my food blog.  I wanted the blog to have a purpose and the logical conclusion was that it should simply be an extension of what I provide my customers.  In the weeks ahead and, hopefully on a permanent basis, my blog will focus on recipe makeovers.  That is recipes that claim to be ridiculously simple, but involve more processed ingredients than any of us would like.  I appreciate we are all short on time, but I am here to help by providing recipes that are still easy to put together and use only “real food” ingredients.

If you have a favorite recipe that is desperately in need of a “real food” makeover, please email it kate@katesthoughtsforfood.com.  I’d love to feature some of these recipes on the blog!

It will take a couple of weeks to get some recipe testing under my belt, but be sure to check back soon!

Looking for inspiration! (That means I need your help.)

January 24, 2012

Well, we are officially settled in our house and I have put the new kitchen through its paces. I can’t tell you how fabulous it is to be settled again and to have all my wondrous kitchen tools back in service. I’m not sure if my Kitchen Aid mixer or I had the greater separation anxiety, but we are both very happy to be reunited.

So why may you ask have I not be sharing some recipes and products from this glorious reunion? The plain and simple truth is that I haven’t been inspired. I know some of you may be saying, “If you are waiting to be inspired by a chicken breast or a bunch of vegetables, we might be here awhile. “. But of course I’ll beg to differ.  Between my mission to create one-pot wonders while we were traveling the last three months or my foray into the world of cupcakes at holiday time, my blog has been very focused and purpose driven.  Now that I am back to a normal life, to be honest, I don’t know where to start.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been cooking up a storm, but I have focused on recipe testing for my customers and I like to save those tasty morsels just for them.  (I guess now would be a good time as any to say that you really should be subscribing to my weekly plans because there have been some darn good meals lately!  And for less than a $1 a meal, you really can’t beat it.  Since I like to be helpful, here is a link to the order page: http://bitly.com/aewWqd)

Shameless plug aside, that still leaves me wondering what to share with all of you.  I’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see more of in my blog and the types of recipes you’d want me to share.  I cannot promise I’ll be able to do it all, but I’m more than willing to give it the old college try.  In the mean time, I’ll keep cooking and hoping that the chicken breast and bunch of vegetables speaks to me soon!

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